Friedrichshafen, Germany, is probably not the first place you think of when pondering a European vacation. And yet that’s where we found ourselves recently, courtesy of Gore-Tex, at the region’s biggest outdoor trade show, OutDoor. As you might guess, the exhibition features a ton of European brands, stuff you won’t come across at your local REI. Here’s some of the coolest gear we saw, much of which will eventually be available online. Assuming, of course, that you speak Swedish.
These badass adidas adventure shoes are at least a couple years away. Thanks to Continental rubber in the soles, they are basically mountain bike tires for your feet.
We know almost nothing about ASOLO, outside of the fact that they are Italian, and these boots are probably pretty damn handy in an ice-climbing type situation.
The Black Diamond Technician shirt: Smart and cool and totally available in the USA. Just not in this color pattern. Götterdämmerung!
Endurance athletes take note. The super lightweight Camelbak Ultra 4 is just the thing you need for extended outdoor adventures.
Chiruca is not, in fact, the latest culinary innovation from Taco Bell. It’s a Spanish company that makes dope light hikers, among other things. This style features Gore-Tex Surround, an innovative new system that keeps them waterproof and breathable while allowing foot sweat to migrate out via a spacer and vents in the sole.
Founded nearly four decades ago in Montebelluna, Italy, Crispi prides itself on the notion of combining tradition with technology. This exemplary trail shoe also features Gore-Tex Surround.
These may look like your standard dress shoes, but Fretz Men (of Switzerland) updates them for the modern adventurer by integrating Surround.
Dridriksons has stuck around for a century by keeping Swedish people dry in the worst of rainstorms. Case in point: this ultra-waterproof anorak.
One highlight of the Haglöfs booth was the men cutting slabs of ham off a fresh carcass for passersby to chomp. Another was the Swedish company’s sweet, colorful duffle bags.
Haglöfs has stuck around for a hundred years by making classic, functional gear that looks sharp. The Ryggsäck No. 1 makes that fact abundantly clear.
La Sportiva has actually made some pretty good in-roads into the American marketplace, most notably in the hiking and climbing biz. Standout shoes like the Speedster are a big reason why.
The Synthesis GTX is another eye-catching offering from La Sportiva. The Italians are helping lead the charge of Gore-Tex Surround, which will be featured in more than 20 brands beginning in 2015.
Got kids? German company Mamalila makes a variety of outdoor garments that, um, integrate babies. Which means they are great for keeping your child warm in harsh conditions—or reenacting that scene from Alien.
This MINI tent pretty much speaks for itself, no? Among other items, UK company The Monster Factory produces a number of quirky shelters, including ones that resemble VW vans and a London Underground tube train.
Sweden’s Peak Performance makes the Black Light Cuben jacket, a lightweight shell that’ll keep you warm and dry on your next mountaineering adventure. All you need is 450 Euros!
Are you pretty damn good at trail running? You probably should be in order to rock the Speedcross 3 from Salomon, which does not appear to be what you’d call “shy.” Fun fact: The company was founded in France in 1947, purchased by Germany’s adidas in 1997 and sold to Amer Sports of Finland in 2005.
Scott, believe it or not, was born and raised in Sun Valley, Idaho. The company makes everything from shoes to sunglasses to outerwear, but the hottest thing in their booth was easily this Genius 900 Tuned mountain bike. We were tempted to ride it right out of the place, but we didn’t have any, you know, pedals.
Most cycling footwear has a problem in that it looks like cycling footwear. The Shimano Torbal Premium Trail/Enduro Shoes do not have that problem.
With heavy hearts, we must report that we have no idea who makes this tent. If you have any idea, please let us know!
A company called Wild Land makes this air mattress, which sort of resembles a dinosaur’s backbone. And as far as we can tell, the company is too busy churning out reptilian air mattresses to have launched a website just yet.
If Superman were a hiker, we’re pretty sure he would rock these Surround-infused kicks from Italy’s Zamberlan. A brand that, no joke, actually is available at REI.